HER BABYs SECRET Episode 31 by Ebunoluwa Ademide
Theme: His confession
I tried to move away. “I should get going..” but he stopped me.
“You just asked me to confess to the woman I love.”
“Okay..so you want to practice on me?”
“Can you love me,Arike?” He asked with a serious.
It took seconds for me to realize that I was the black woman. My eyes widened in shock and surprise as realization hit me straight in the face. This must be a joke!
“Wha…wh..at..are..you..saying Daniel?” I tried to laugh it off as I stuttered.
“I want to make a love confession like you adviced.” He shrugged with a serious face. Then I knew he meant it and wasn’t joking.
I avoided making an eye contact with him. “You are the black woman I love.” He added.
I moved away from him. “You can’t be serious,Daniel.” I tried to hit his upper arm playfully but I stopped myself. I shouldn’t be joking in times like this one. Daniel was indeed serious.
Then I began to think about everything he has done for me and Iteoluwa. To be honest,Daniel always act like he was Iteoluwa’s father. I remember when she was so little,he always help in changing her diaper whenever he was less busy and he also helped in putting her to bed. He has never done that with the other babies. I didn’t see it as anything aside the fact that he was trying to help or that he felt pity for us knowing a bit of my story that I couldn’t be with the father of my child for some reasons unknown to everyone except my parents. I never thought that he had feelings for me though Busayomi always make sure to remind me that she could tell he likes me but I always shut her up or wave it off as one of her usual matchmaking jokes.
“So..all the gifts..and care..it was because of what you..feel for me.” I stuttered slowly.
“I don’t really..know. Bright is a good kid and I just love her.” He answered.
I swallowed hard. “Your mom..”
“I told her about you.” He nodded.
“Oh! So she thinks you don’t want to marry Lucy because of the blackwoman – me.” I said to clear up the misunderstanding in my head.
“That what she thinks. I don’t want to marry Lucy because I don’t love her.”
“And because you love me too.” I added.
“She’s just Lucy,my friend. And I am not going back home until she accepts that I don’t want to get married to Lucy.”
“Arike,I know you don’t have any feelings for me. Yes..you see me as just a worker in your father’s house. And I understand that you are not ready for commitment.”
I nodded in agreement. “My daughter means the world to me.”
“I know and I love Bright too.”
I like Daniel, but not the way he loves me.
“You’re a nice man,Daniel but I don’t -“
“It’s alright,just forget about what I said. I am also not ready to be with any woman.” He faked a smile.
“Okay.” I nodded.
“So if you will excuse me,I need to clean out the trash in the next bus.”
“I will go inside.” I turned to walk away. I made my way back to the house still thinking about my discussion with Daniel. I felt bad for him. I am sorry,Daniel.
I saw Aunty Sade dragging two heavy boxes to the living room so I went to help her.
“We already picked out the important decorations for the house and Christmas tree.”
“Okay but do you still need more items because I would be going to the mall in the evening.”
“I don’t think -“ she paused to look at Miranda who just dropped some bags.
“Please get me scissors.”
“Okay ma.” She went away.
“Oh! Light! we need to buy more Christmas light!”
“Anything else?” I asked as I added Christmas light to the list I made on my phone.
She sat down on the couch. “Since today is the last day of school,some workers are leaving this week. So I will need you to write the names of those that will be around for Christmas party. I need to get gifts and then prepare for the party.”
“You can ask Alexa to help you.” She added
Alexa was in charge of the foaster records,more or else like a secretary.
“Busayomi is still not coming around this year!” Aunty Sade asked as she tapped on her phone.
“She’s not coming.”
“Iteoluwa would be really disappointed. She didn’t stop talking about Busayomi yesterday.”
Iteoluwa always looked forward to seeing Busayomi every December.
“Busayomi is getting married.” I said.
Aunty Sade adjusted her glasses as she looked up at me. “This is great news! I am so happy for her.”
Miranda brought the scissors. “Please tell Alexa to come around whenever she’s less busy.”
“Okay ma’am.” Miranda left.
“Have they fixed the wedding date?”
“Not so fast.” I laughed.
“She shouldn’t delay o.”
“She’s meeting his family this christmas.”
“Ehn let’s say early next year.” She said
“Hmmmmm…I am so happy for her.” She sighed. “Wo wa joko si egbe mi.”
Come sit beside me. She tapped on the space next to her on the couch. I am sure she knows what it means for Busayomi to be getting married.
Theme: You can’t hide forever
“Busayomi needs you more than ever now.” I nodded in agreement. “And it means you have to travel to Nigeria.”
“Yes ma, but she wants Iteoluwa to be her little bride.”
“Oh that’s nice.”
“But mommy..do you think it’s a good idea to bring iteoluwa to Nigeria?” I asked.
“Why is it not a good idea? Oh because of Dayo?” She laughed.
“Yes what if we run into him?” I asked,panic almost rising within me.
“And so? Is he not the father of your child?” She snorted.
Why is she acting like she doesn’t know the consequences of Dayo finding out about his child.
“So you think Iteoluwa will let us rest if she doesn’t see her mom? Or you have forgotten the last time you traveled to Connecticut for a week,you need to see the way your daughter was disturbing every soul here. She doesn’t even remember that we are her grandparents. You have to take her with you.”
“But mommy -“
“Wo! Wo mi Omo -“ she tapped me.
Look at me,child.
“Ki lo de?” We heard uncle Badejo’s voice.
“Ekaabo.” We greeted him welcome.
“Alexa asked me to give it to you.” He handed her a file. “Seems like the list of workers that would be traveling this Christmas.”
“Yes I asked for it.” He replied.
“Have you reached out to our sponsors?” He asked me.
“Yes sir,I already called a few. They promised to get to us. And I have sent broadcast to parents too.”
“That’s good. So what is going on?”
“Omo yin ti gba ring.” Aunty Sade announced that a child of his is engaged.
“Ewo ninu won?” He asked which of his child as he looked down at my fingers.
“Busayomi.” She answered.
“Oh really? She’s engaged! What’s that her boyfriend name?”
“Mr Paul.” I reminded him.
“Oh that’s nice. So have they fixed a date?”
“Not yet.” Aunty Sade replied
“So that means she’ll be needing your help with wedding plans.”
“You can go back to Nigeria, don’t worry we’ll take care of Iteoluwa.” He said.
“Ahhh what are you saying? She should go with her child.” Aunty Sade said.
“And why is that?”
“Firstly Busayomi wants her to be the little bride and you know how disturbing Iteoluwa can be if she doesn’t see her mother.”
“Is it wise to take her with me?” I asked him.
“And you think Busayomi will be happy or Iteoluwa will want to stay here without you? Remember your trip to Connecticut.”
“I told her o.” Aunty Sade added.
“I don’t see anything bad in taking her with you except you are thinking about Dayo.” He said.
“That’s the bone of contention.” Aunty Sade said.
“You see? You see what I have been saying? I told you it is not good to hide her away from her father. You can’t hide forever,some day she would grow up and demand to know her father. Even if she is too young now,some day she will ask.” He said
Tears welled up in my eyes. “She already asked me if she would get to see him soon.”
“Can you see?” He shrugged.
“But Dayo can’t find out about her.” I responded
“So you intend to get married to another man and make him her father?” He asked with a deep frown on his face.
“Don’t be a selfish mother,Arike!”
“I am not selfish dad..everything I have ever done is to make my child happy.” I replied at the verge of tears.
“If you want that child to be happy then let her meet her father.” He said.
“Darling,you need to calm down.”
“I am calm..I am calm.” He nodded.
“We’ve good without him.” I muttered.
“So you want to miss your sister’s wedding?” He asked
“No dad…I am not -“
Mom interrupted me. “Let’s not argue. Arike,you have enough time to think about what you want to do.”
“What I am sure of is that you can hide Iteoluwa from her father forever. So it’s better you deal with it.” He stood up and went away.
The tears that had threatened to spill dropped down my face. I hate it whenever he’s angry.
“You can’t be sure that you’ll see Dayo.” She held my hands. “I will go and talk to your daddy.” She let me go and went ahead to meet her husband.
What do I do if we see Dayo? No! I won’t let that happen! Dayo can’t find out about Iteoluwa.
Theme: Home sweet home
TWO MONTHS LATER
It was on a Saturday morning,we were all set up to travel back to Nigeria for Busayomi’s wedding which was just in few weeks time. I had made the decision to return to Nigeria even before the date for the wedding was set. I didn’t want to miss Busayomi’s wedding,neither do I want to be the selfish mother who purposely kept her child away from her father.
This is the time Busayomi needed my help as a sister and I also have to repay her for the good deeds. I actually don’t care if we run into Dayo whenever we return back to Nigeria. I am ready to face him at least for my child who needed to know her father.
“Grand…pa..” Iteoluwa’s voice jolted me out of thought.
“Yes..princess..” he glanced at her before focusing back on the road
“I am gonna miss you and grandma.” She said
“And we are gonna miss you too princess.” He replied.
Finally we arrived at the airport and waved goodbyes to uncle Badejo and his wife before heading towards departure section.
“Mommy…” Iteoluwa called.
“Yes my love,”
“Do you think the knight is gonna kidnap the princess from the castle and take her somewhere far away?” She asked.
“Well -” I paused to give our passports and papers to the lady at the desk.
“I don’t really know-“
“You should know mommy!” She jumped. “You always read the story to me at night.”
“Yes I know..”
“Answer now… will the knight-“
I interrupted her. “I think..the king is gonna ask his royal guards to protect the princess and then-“
“No! That’s not it!” She countered and I rolled my eyes.
“You are good to go!” The lady announced.
“Thank you.” I said to her.
“The knight is gonna love the princess?” I asked.
“Yes! The king will have no choice..and the knight will become the king and they will both live happily ever after.” She narrated her favorite bed time story which her grandpa always reads to her.
Believe me when I say she doesn’t get tired of that story. She knows everything line by line.
Iteoluwa slept on the plane and I have to wake her up at the checkpoint. She grumbled when I dropped her down.
“Mommmmyyyy…” she cried.
“Sorry my love,” she continued to cry.
“I want to sleep…” she was already making a scene.
“Look big mommy is waiting for us.” I said to make her stop crying and she did.
Iteoluwa looked around to find Busayomi. “Where is she?”
“Come on! Stop crying-” I heard her hand and drag our box behind us.
“I won’t let you play with your teddy when we get home.” I threatened her and she stopped crying immediately.
“You can’t do that..”
“Then stop crying now.”
She sniffed. “I won’t cry anymore.”
“That’s good my love.”
“Will you let me play with my toys?” She asked.
I dialed Busayomi’s number and she picked immediately. “Babe,we’ve arrived at the airport.”
“I am there too. Where are you?”
“Close to the exit..” my eyes searched the area.
“Found you! Just look back!” I did as she instructed and saw her waving at us.
Then I hang up the call. “See big mommy.”
“Big mommy!!!!” Iteoluwa screamed as she let go of my hand and ran to meet Busayomi.
“Oh look at my baby!” Busayomi carried Iteoluwa and swirled her around. She giggled happily.
“Oh wow! Good to see you!”
“See I am a big girl now.” Iteoluwa said.
“Oh yeah! You are a big girl now. But do you still suck your thumb?” Busayomi asked.
“I hope she stops it soon.” I answered.
“Oh no!” Busayomi gasped. “You still suck your thumb to sleep,” she tickled Iteoluwa.
“No..not anymore…” she laughed.
“That means you are still a baby.” Busayomi tweaked her nose.
“Come let’s go, the driver is waiting for us.”
“A driver?” I asked.
“Of course, Paul won’t let me driver anymore.”
“Wow! That’s great. He’s really taking care of you.” We laughed.
We got to the car where a man dressed in black suit was waiting to take my box. Busayomi got into backseat with Iteoluwa and I followed.
“Mommmmyyyy is this our Nigeria?” Iteoluwa asked and we couldn’t help but laugh.
“Yes this is our Nigeria.” Busayomi answered.
“She’s so funny!” She added.
“Wow! I like Nigeria.” She clapped her hands in excitement.
“Are we gonna watch a movie today?” She asked.
Busayomi’s phone beeped at the same time so I was left with no choice but to answer Iteoluwa.
“We are not going to the movies today.”
“So where are we going?”
“Home so we can rest.”
“So when are we gonna see a movie?” She asked again.
“Very soon my love.” She leaned into me as we listen to Busayomi’s conversation about wedding plans.
And it didn’t take long for Iteoluwa to fall asleep again.
“Oh she’s asleep.” Busayomi said after disconnecting the call.
“Yes she must be really tired.” I replied.
“That reminds me I bought the slippers you asked.”
“Oh thanks and have you packed your stuffs?”
“Yes Paul hired someone to help me pack and move it to his place. I have just few clothes left at my apartment. And don’t worry you will really enjoy your stay in Nigeria.” Busayomi smiled.
Theme: Thinking about him
“Well I hope so too.” I heaved a sigh.
“Come on, I know what you are thinking.” She said as our gaze locked. “It’s about Dayo right?” She added.
“I don’t even know what to think,” I said sincerely.
“You don’t need to worry -“
“I am just worried about Iteoluwa.” I sighed.
Even though I had decided to face whatever will happen during my stay here,I am still worried about my child. I don’t want her to blame me or see me as a bad mother. I don’t think I will be able to take it if my child decided to hate me for keeping her away from her father.
“Don’t think too much about it. And even if he finds out about her,I am sure he will understand your reasons.”
“You think so?”
“I know so.” She responded.
“I can thank you enough for everything you have done for us, your support and care for Iteoluwa, I owe you a lot.”
“You don’t owe me any -“
“Of course I do,” I interrupted her.
“Okay you are repaying me by coming to Nigeria to attend my wedding.” She pointed out.
“Come on! I would regret not attending your wedding.”
“The bride spirit will hunt you forever.” She joked and I laughed.
Ever since I decided to come back to Nigeria, the thought of Dayo has been on my mind. Being away from him all these years without talking or seeing or knowing anything about him still bothered me a lot and I don’t know why. I am not sure if Dayo would have the time to keep searching for me but I am sure he would have given up on reaching me. He would have moved on. I don’t want to be indecisive or selfish but a part of me wished we don’t get to meet him during our stay in Nigeria. I was scared of how I would face him if he found out about Iteoluwa.
Busayomi did a great job at distancing herself from Dayo. First, she changed her apartment and then her numbers and it was a coincidence that she quit her job too. So it would have been really hard for Dayo to ever find me since I also deleted my social media accounts.
I wondered how his marriage with Shalewa turned out though they are still together but I knew he never loved her.
But what if things was different now and he had grown to love her and accept her as his wife? A voice questioned in my mind.
Well I wouldn’t know since I haven’t followed up on Shalewa’s social accounts neither did I followed up on Dayo’s because I wanted to move on and not think about him.
A small squeeze on my hand jolted me out of thought. I looked down and saw Busayomi holding me.
“What are you thinking about?” She asked.
I managed to smile. “Nothing really,”
“Whatever it is I want you to know that I will always be here for you and Iteoluwa.”
Tears welled up in my eyes but I fought back the urge to let it drop. I am just pained because my daughter has to be the one to suffer for my selfish deeds. I knew how it felt to live without a father,now my daughter has faced the same fate. The main reason why uncle Badejo still held a grudge against me.
The tears flowed. “It’s alright.” She whispered.
I shook my head. “Thank you.” I wiped my tears.
Iteoluwa stirred in her sleep and I patted her back gently.
I sniffed. “So what are we doing tomorrow?”
“We’re meeting all the ladies of my bridal train to try out the dresses.”
“I hope it wasn’t hard getting our measurements?” I asked.
“Ah no and I am sure there won’t be a problem.” She answered.
Theme: Welcome to Nigeria
When we finally reached Busayomi’s house, her mom and husband to be were present at the place. I had to carry Iteoluwa inside because she was still asleep.
“Welcome back to Nigeria!” Mr Paul exclaimed as I exchanged pleasantries with him.
“My baby must be really stressed out from the flight.” He added.
“Yes she tends to sleep after a flight.” I smiled.
“Awwnnn…she’s so cute whenever she sleeps too.” He complimented.
“Good afternoon ma.” I greeted Busayomi’s mom, kneeling a bit.
“Arike, how are your parents?” Busayomi’s mom asked.
“They are fine ma, how is daddy too?” I asked
“He’s doing well.” She stood up from the couch, redoing her wrapper tightly to her waist. “It’s really good to see you again, Arike.”
“You are leaving?” Busayomi asked.
I rocked Iteoluwa when she stirred in her sleep.
“Yes Busayomi, your dad called not too long.” She said.
“Oh tell him I will transfer the money to him soon.” She replied.
“It’s not about the money, your Aunt Tito is on her way to our home.” She explained.
“And so? Is that why you want to leave early?” Busayomi snorted.
“Yes,” she replied, picking up her bag.
“I didn’t invite her to my wedding o.” Busayomi said.
Her mom shot her a glare. “She’s your Aunty so she has every right to attend your wedding.”
“Is it her wedding? During her own time did she send invitation to you to attend her wedding?” Busayomi hissed as she gestured to me to lay Iteoluwa on the couch.
“She didn’t invite me because she was told not to have a loud party.” Her mom resorted.
“Nonsense talk, see you better stay till the time you planned to play with Iteoluwa.” Busayomi pointed out.
She was so used to talking to her mom like they were mates. No doubt Busayomi was really close to her mom, and sometimes I envy their bond and wondered if I would have been like that with my mom if she was alive.
“Look I have all the time to play with her. I must get home before your aunt arrives at our place.”
“Is she the only one coming or it is full house?” Busayomi asked with a raised eyebrow.
“She’s coming with her four kids.” Her mom answered.
“They want to comman finish our party jollof rice and drinks abi?”
I couldn’t help but laugh at Busayomi’s word. It was obvious that she didn’t like this her Aunt Tito.
“Ahh Busayomi what’s wrong about your aunt attending our wedding?” Mr Paul asked.
“I don’t like her, period.” She answered.
“See don’t mind her, she has always been like that towards her aunt because she once asked her to pocket money in school and her aunt didn’t send it to her.” Her mom explained in full details.
“It is not the money she didn’t send to me. I don’t like her because naturally she’s stingy but like to take things from people.” Busayomi countered almost immediately.
I and Mr Paul couldn’t help but laugh at Busayomi.
“Why are you laughing? You think it’s funny?” Busayomi shot is a glare.
“It’s funny. My love, I think you are really mad at her for not sending you pocket money in school.” Mr Paul teased her.
“I said I am not angry because of that!” Busayomi defended.
“Don’t mind her, I will extend your greetings to your aunt.” Her mom said.
“I didn’t send you such message o. If she sees me on my wedding day she should not even think of talking to me.” She handed her mom some money from her wallet.
“For what?” Her mom asked.
“It is not for you o, help me give to Demilade.” Busayomi responded.
My eyes followed the notes as her mom counted it. It was a sum of ten thousand naira.
“For what?” Her mom asked.
“She wants to buy a new heels.” Busayomi replied.
“Heels ten thousand?!” Her mom gasped out.
“Why? is it too much?” Busayomi asked.
“This is way too much.” She nodded.
A phone beeped and it turned out to be Mr Paul’s. “Please excuse me,” he said, walking off to a side of the room.
“Woh! See mommy things are expensive these days, just give her the money and tell her that I will send the money for clutch purse later provided she comes early to the fashion home tomorrow.”
“Ahh okay o, money that she is supposed to save in her account for school. She will go and spend it on ordinary heels..a whole ten thousand naira.” She complained.
Busayomi and I laughed. Africa mothers will never change, Busayomi’s mom was a typical one.
“I will give her money if she’s going back to school…ah Ijebu woman.”
“I’m just thinking-“
She interrupted her mom. “Don’t be thinking, please come and be going now. Your husband is waiting for you at home.”
Mr Paul came back. “Babe are you okay?” Busayomi asked.
“Yes, I need to get to the office to sort some things out.”
“Is everything fine?” She asked again.
“Yes, you don’t need to worry too much.” He answered.
“Okay if you say so. But call me if you need anything.” She said.
“I will drive mommy home before heading to the office.” He offered.
“Won’t that be stressful for you? I can order Uber to take her home.” Busayomi said.
“I will take her home.”
“Okay.” Busayomi went to him and placed a kiss on his cheek.
“Arike, call me if you need anything.” He said.
“Thank you very much.”
“Ese jeje o.” Her mom said.
(Be of good manners)
Busayomi accompanied them out while I crouched down next to the couch to take a look at my child. My little angel was soundly asleep.
HER BABYs SECRET
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